With the release of their full-length debut, 2019’s Sinie Sinie, the Lyon, France-based experimental synth act Ashinoa quickly exploded into the national and international scene: Sinie Sinie saw the French act establishing a minimalist krautrock approach.
The members of the Lyon-based act supported the album with tours around France opening for JOVM mainstays METZ and Flamingods, Warrmduscher, Bo Ningen, Kikagaku Moyo and others. Ashinoa’s forthcoming sophomore album L’Orée is slated for a March 25, 2022 release through Fuzz Club, and the album reportedly sees the band building upon the minimalist karutrock of their debut while taking the listener on a journey through the wilderness through shape-shifting, psychedelic electronics.
Although centered around a largely synthesizer-driven soundscape, L’Orée‘s material sees the members of Ashinoa exploring a much more natural, organic sound than their previously released work, a sound that at times is percussive and dance floor friendly and other times hypnotic and expansive — thanks in part to the environment it was written and recorded in. Recorded in a house, tucked away in the French countryside, which bordered on a surrounding forest, the band recalls that the album sessions were spent soaking up their immediate surroundings with a number of collaborators coming in and out to play on the record:
“The house we recorded the album in was kind of in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by Douglas Pine trees. From this proximity to the forest, we wanted to take our soundscapes to a place we’ve never been before,” the members of the French-based experimental act explain. “Before we were surrounded by concrete, and then far from it. We were looking for a new listening place, to discover new intriguing sounds. We had laid down the basis of the album and then musician friends that would visit us at the time were invited to participate in the making of the album, each one of them bringing a touch of their own.”
L’Orée‘s first single “Disguised by Orbit” is banger centered a trance-inducing, trippy groove, polyrhythmic breakbeats and undulating synths. The end result — to my ears — is a slick synthesis of L’eclair and Mildlife-like cosmic grooves, old school boom bap and Brit Pop swagger.
“This song feels like those beautiful night skies,” the members of Ashinoa explain. “You’re feeling tipsy, a bit high maybe. When the colours surrounding you aren’t really what they seem. Everything sparkles like crazy as if everything was disguised.”
Directed by Jeremy Labarre and Matteo Fabri, the recently released video for “Disguised by Orbit” follows a mutton chop wearing man as she angrily walks through a damp European downtown before encountering a gorgeous robe that encourages him to strut, vamp and dance through town. We also see a woman in the same rob, dancing in the desert.